Global Dairy Platform Announces New Board Chair

Hein Schumacher

GDP Board Chairman

ROSEMONT, Ill., Aug. 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Dairy Platform (GDP), a not-for-profit industry association representing the international dairy sector, today announced the appointment of Hein Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of Royal FrieslandCampina, as Chair of GDP’s Board of Directors. Schumacher succeeds Rick Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dairy Farmers of America, who completed a four-year term as GDP Chair.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of GDP and build on the momentum that Rick, supported by the Board of Directors, has established,” Schumacher said. “Rick’s leadership helped strengthen GDP’s role in ensuring dairy is recognized as relevant and a vital part of a globally sustainable food system. I look forward to continuing this important work, which includes the launch of the ground-breaking Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative later this month,” he said.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Hein for a number of years and there is no doubt he is the right person to guide GDP now,” said Smith. “The future is bright for GDP and the global dairy sector,” he added.

Rick Smith

GDP Board Chairman

Also serving on GDP’s board are Fonterra Co-operative Group Chief Executive Officer Miles Hurrell; Arla Foods Chief Executive Officer Peder Tuborgh; China Mengniu Dairy Company Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Minfang (Jeffery) Lu; Meiji Holdings Co. Limited President Kazuo Kawamura; Leprino President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Durkin; International Dairy Federation President Piercristiano Brazzale; and Saputo Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lino Saputo, Jr. Smith remains a GDP board member.

Additional governance members include Dr. Margrethe Jonkman, Deputy Chair of the GDP Board and Chair of the GDP Operational Committee, Corporate Director Research & Development, Royal FrieslandCampina; Tim Leviny, Senior Vice President, Land O’Lakes; Hanne Sondergaard, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing & Innovation, Arla Foods; Kelvin Wickham, Chief Operating Officer,  Fonterra Co-operative Group; Jay Waldvogel, Senior Vice President of Strategy and International Development, Dairy Farmers of America; and Kaoru Koide, Director and General Manager of Meiji Holdings Co. Limited.

About Global Dairy Platform
GDP is a not-for-profit industry association representing the global dairy sector. GDP membership, which includes more than 95 leading corporations, companies, associations, scientific bodies and other partners, has operations in more than 150 countries and collectively produces approximately 1/3 of all the world’s milk.

Kevin Burkum
Global Dairy Platform

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at